For years, the public has been steadily falling in love with "Weird Al" Yankovic and his ridiculously entertaining parodies of hit songs. The comedian-singer has satirized everyone from Michael Jackson and Bob Dylan to Eminem and Nirvana, and he's picked up a slew of really effin' famous fans along the way.
The musician/children's book author's 14th (!!!) studio album Mandatory Fun drops next week and features parodies inspired by Iggy Azalea, Lorde, Pharrell, Robin Thicke and more. Should these chart-toppers voice support, they'll be joining a class of super-celebrity "Weird Al" fans that have all given their stamp of good humor approval.
Check out 11 of Weird Al's most famous fans now.
The King of Pop was a big fan of the King of Parodies, and their friendship is a long and storied one.
In 1984, Michael gave Yankovic permission for two parodies, with Yankovic changing MJ's "Beat It" to "Eat It" and "Bad" to "Fat" (above). Michael even gave him access to the set from his "Badder" video (from 1988's MJ anthology flick, Moonwalker) for "Fat."
And even though Michael denied a parody of "Black Or White," he did it because he was a friend. "Frankly, my wanting to do Michael Jackson a third time was a pure act of desperation," he told Wired in 2011. "I was kind of feeling like, 'Oh, man, maybe my career is over.' But thankfully he said 'no' and I ended up doing Nirvana, which ended up revitalizing my career. Michael had always been very supportive and part of me wants to think that in his heart he knew what was best for me."
His Weirdness even made a cameo in MJ's "Liberian Girl" video (below). How's that for a co-sign?
At first, Al was denied permission to lampoon "Born This Way"—but not by the Gaga. When the song leaked online, the ARTPOP star caught wind of the track and reached out to the comedian, telling him her manager had denied it without her input.
The beloved brother trio have a strong working relationship and plain-old friendly relationship with "Weird Al." Al directed the band's "River" music video and played tambourine in their "Thinking 'Bout Somethin'" vid.
Middle bro Taylor spoke about their bromance in 2011. "I feel like so many people have so much respect for him," he said. "He’s a genius. We became friends after he started a family. His daughter is my oldest son's almost exact age. We've just been friends for the last 10 years or so. Periodically he'll come to our shows—he sat in for us the last time we were in LA."
The Star Wars mastermind loved Al's "The Saga Begins," a satire of Don McLean's "American Pie." Al said in an interview that the official comment from the Lucasfilm camp was "You should have seen the smile on George's face." Aww!
"Weird Al" revealed that when he called Kurt Cobain for permission to parody Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit," Cobain was cool under one condition: the spoof couldn't be about food. Even though "Smells Like Nirvana" was a jab at Cobain's difficult-to-comprehend singing, the band found the video hysterical. Al still dresses in his Cobain-esque getup for performances (see his look from Bonnaroo 2013 above). Dave Grohl would later go on to say that he felt like he "made it" once Al gave "Smells Like Teen Spirit" the parody treatment.
Even Macca himself tipped his hat to "Weird Al." The Beatle made a cameo in Al's Brain: A 3-D Journey Through The Human Brain, written, directed and voiced by the comedian.
Yep, America's most dysfunctional animated family? They're "Weird Al" fans. He was recruited for a 2003 episode of The Simpsons to sing "The Ballad of Homer & Marge," a take on John Mellencamp's "Jack & Diane." Later that year, Al dropped in for another cameo where Marge recruits him to dedicate a song to Homer in an attempt to save their marriage.
Great news: the relationship was fixed, and that episode won the Emmy for Outstanding Animated Program (For Programming Less Than One Hour) that year.
In 2006, Yankovic got the OK to turn James Blunt's ubiquitous No. 1 "You're Beautiful" into "You're Pitiful." The British singer was tooootally down, but his label, Atlantic Records, rescinded permission, claiming it was "too early" in Blunt's career for a parody.
Yankovic removed the song from his 2006 LP Straight Outta Lynwood, but released it as a free download on MySpace. Al still plays it in concert given Blunt's stamp of approval.
Some may consider Al a vocalist, but a backing vocalist? The Ben Folds Five frontman tapped him for harmonies on "Time," off his Songs for Silverman album. From what we hear, he sounds like pretty great voice to have for support!
Rapper Chamillionaire told Rolling Stone he was "honored" Al chose to turn his modern-day rap classic "Ridin'" into "White & Nerdy." RS also mentioned that the MC "seemed most satisfied that it would make him more money."
Hey, if money can't make you friends, then what can?
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